We’ve all been there. You walk into a busy retail establishment and your favorite song is playing over the store’s audio system. You might not even be fully conscious of it, but before you know it, you’re humming or singing along with the background music. What might have been a frustrating experience jostling through crowds and hoping to score the last sale item becomes downright pleasant.
Or maybe you’re at a restaurant and their audio system is playing background music that makes you feel like there’s a live pianist tickling the ivories over your shoulder. You may barely be aware of the sound, but when you leave you can’t help but think of the terrific ambiance of the place and promise yourself to go back soon.
Your response was likely not random. According to The Guardian, “Music, even when you are barely aware of it, can be surprisingly powerful. Over recent decades, researchers have found that it can affect how much time we think has passed while waiting in a queue, how cooperative shoppers are with sales staff, and even how sweet or bitter food tastes.”
No wonder, then, that businesses of all varieties are hiring consultant firms to craft the perfect audio sound system complete with background music for the experience they want their customers to have.
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WHY YOUR BUSINESS NEEDS BACKGROUND MUSIC
The music playing in your establishment might not be the first thing people notice, but then again neither is the climate control. However, try turning your heater off in the winter or your air conditioning off in the summer, and see what happens. Some elements of your customer experience make a huge impact on them, whether they’re thinking about it consciously or not.
Wise businesses will give ample thought to the impression they want their background music to make. Hospitals don’t play heavy metal and fitness centers don’t play classical music for good reason. The genre of music you choose for your organization is part of a process called audio branding, which is how you use signature sounds or music to express your brand identity.
When your customers walk into your location it should be a pleasant experience that engages as many of the senses as possible. People are more likely to browse or spend extra time somewhere that looks attractive, smells nice, is comfortable, and has appealing music playing in the background, appropriate to the location. To ensure the experience, your sound system should be set to the right volume and be in good working order; background music becomes foreground noise quickly when speakers crackle.
MUSIC AND HUMAN BEHAVIOR
The term “mood music” is not a misnomer. Science supports what people have known instinctively for years – music has a significant impact on our mindset, outlook, mood, and behavior. Neuroimaging studies prove that music activates areas of the brain, such as the amygdala and the hippocampus, that are associated with emotions. Knowing this, you can see why it’s crucial to put significant emphasis on choosing the right store music.
In his book, This Is Your Brain on Music, neuroscientist Daniel J. Levitin discusses some ways that music impacts human feelings, thoughts, and behavior.
MUSIC CAN MAKE YOU SMARTER
Music engages and stimulates many different areas of the brain. For this reason, institutions of higher learning, among other organizations, are starting to explore the benefits of background music in study halls and libraries.
MUSIC HAS POSITIVE MEDICINAL AFFECTS
Again, there is sound science behind the adage, “Music soothes the savage beast.” Soothing background music has long been utilized in hospitals, clinics, spas, and other wellness facilities, to soothe anxiety and promote healing.
MUSIC ENHANCES A POSITIVE MOOD
Do you want your store music to put your patrons in a good mood when they walk through your doors? The right music can elevate serotonin (a “feel good” chemical) levels in your body.
Try to imagine the effect that playing “elevator music” would have on you when you’re at the gym, trying to run farther or lift heavier than you did on previous visits. Several studies suggest that music can boost endurance and help people use energy more efficiently while working out. The right music played at the right BPM (beats per minute) can be very motivating.
HOW TO LEVERAGE BACKGROUND MUSIC
Choosing your background music is half the battle, but the other half is learning how to leverage it to positively affect your business’s daily operations and traffic flow.
Chances are your brand’s playlist will have a variety of songs with different messages, beats, and tempos. How do you know what to play and when to play it? Nothing can replace consulting an audio branding professional in these matters.
PLAY SLOWER SONGS
Slower songs that are played during down time can help boost sales and encourage patrons to linger. Songs with slower tempos encourage people to stop, browse, and smell the proverbial roses. Prevent your traffic flow from turning over too quickly.
TURN UP THE VOLUME
During busy times, turn up the volume and play higher tempo songs. High tempo music energizes people – they’ll be less likely to browse and more likely to get on with the task at hand, allowing more traffic into your store in less time.
FILTER TARGET CUSTOMERS
Let’s say you own a store in a busy mall. If you play the kind of music that specifically appeals to your target customers, you’ll draw more of them into your space, while conversely discouraging people who aren’t your brand’s target customers or who would be unlikely to purchase your goods and services.
WHY YOU NEED A PROFESSIONAL SOUND SYSTEM DESIGN AND INSTALLATION
With so much at stake regarding your establishment’s traffic flow and the mood and motivation of your patrons, it’s important to pay attention to your music system design and the professionalism of your system installation.
Poor sound quality can sabotage your efforts even if you’re consistently playing all the right music at the right time. Your sound should be strong and clear, reaching every corner of your office, store, or facility. You have a reputable, professional brand, so promote and protect that image with impeccable audio branding. A professional system design and installation will ensure you achieve the results you want.
KEEP YOUR CUSTOMERS HAPPY
The good news is that you don’t have to do the work of audio branding by yourself. The Promotion Technology Group is a team of commercial audio professionals who’ll work with you to develop an audio experience that’s unique for your brand and will attract loyal customers.
PTG will partner with you to identify who your target market is and what appeals to them. We’ll connect your brand to music that captures the essence of who you are. Let us handle the audio branding of your establishment so you can focus on keeping customers happy. Talk to us about how we can design and install an audio system that’s the right fit and easy to use from day one. Contact us today – we’re ready when you are.